Sam Houston State quarterback Eric Schmid found wide receiver Ife Adeyi for a game-winning, 10-yard touchdown pass to give the Bearkats a 23-21 over South Dakota State on Sunday.
Schmid’s touchdown pass to Adeyi came after two fourth-down conversions on the final drive. Sam Houston State would upset South Dakota State for its first Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national title.
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“It just showed such character by our kids. You’re talking about the ultimate game and you have to make one last drive,” Sam Houston State coach K.C. Keeler said. “It’s really a special group when you consider this thing started in June and we had no idea when this thing would ever end. You know, we decided not to play a fall season. … It’s been an emotion draining year, a physically draining year.”
Schmid finished the game 20-for-37 with 209 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Adeyi had five catches for 73 yards. Jequez Ezzard led Sam Houston State with 10 catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
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“It wasn’t a shocker for us because we’ve dealt with stuff like that all year,” Schmid said. “We were kind of joking in the locker room like it’s got to be this way for us to win.”
South Dakota State was up 21-17 with 5:41 left thanks to Isaiah Davis’ third touchdown of the game. Davis finished with 178 rushing yards on 14 attempts.
“We were this close,” Davis lamented. “We watched them celebrate, raise the trophy up, and we know what it takes. You know, 170-something practices, and came up short one play.”
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Sam Houston State finished the season undefeated at 10-0. South Dakota State finished 8-2. The FCS season was played in the winter and spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.